August 2, 2009
ROY MORILLA, KMP Public Information Officer (63-905-421-7305)
Peasants pay tribute to Aquino for calling Arroyo's resignation
The militant Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP, Peasant Movement of
the Philippines) joins the country and world's mourning of the death of
former president Corazon Aquino. The group significantly remembers her
call for Arroyo's resignation or Arroyo to spare the country and make her
"supreme sacrifice" after the "Hello Garci" scandal in 2005.
"We pay tribute to President Aquino for joining the people's clamor for
Arroyo's resignation. In addition, her effort in People Power 1 and 2 and
joining the people's protests against the past government's move for
charter change (Chacha) as early as 1997, and against corruption such as
protesting against the NBN-ZTE deal in 2008," said Danilo Ramos, KMP
The group also said the Aquino was supported by the people during the
Marcos dictatorship, consequently resulting the ouster of the latter. Her
rule was also marked with numerous coup d' etat which threatened the
civilian rule. It was also in her term when the U.S. bases were ejected
from the country in 1991.
KMP also hoped that before her death, she was able to remind her family
and relatives to distribute Hacienda Luisita to the agricultural workers,
particularly Sen. Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino.
"We mourn with the people as she is deeply needed at present as we are
under an Arroyo dictatorship and a president who tramples democracy and is
anti-peasant, anti-people," said Ramos.
The group said that to honor her in the highest form is to live her legacy
of fighting for democracy, spirit of people power and abolishing a
dictatorship such as of Arroyo at present.#
Cory, Saturday Morning
by Arnold Alamon*
The banner headlines tomorrow
will mark the mournful pause that Cory's passing has brought the
nation. And I find myself today taking that same pause and reflecting on
why I am moved by her death as well.
I never identified with Cory's yellow army from the onset. When my grade
school classmates were flashing Cory's laban sign in 1986, what I would
interpret later on as a middle class identification, I was the lone Marcos
loyalist in the classroom on account of my own social identifications. I
thought it was incumbent upon me to toe the official line since I was a
military brat. I remember debating with my classmates and the strongest
argument that my 10 year-old brain could muster versus Cory's supporters
then was that Cory was "just" a woman. I have since repented of course
having realized that intelligence, fortitude, grace, on the one hand, and
even despotic traits and arrogance, on the other, are not the monopoly of
Cory indeed went on to make history in the snap elections of '86 and the
ensuing people power revolt but I generally remained ambivalent about her
place in history. While the same middle class high school classmates were
defending the extension of the US Bases just like Cory, I wrestled away
from my own identifications and took a stand against the bases.
Since then I have unlearned many social givens and learned about how
Cory's presidency supported
landed interests, tolerated low intensity conflict approaches to combat
the insurgency, and relied on American support to keep her
presidency versus the coup attempts that plagued her administration. I
have also learned that the decades of organizing and struggle being waged
in the countryside and the cities set the stage for the overthrow of the
dictatorship. So why am I now mourning her passing?
She was a simple housewife who reluctantly took on the reigns of a popular
anti-dictatorship struggle after her husband's assassination. I would like
to believe that Cory's patriotism had something to do with the timeless
images of ordinary people braving tanks, offering their lives, and
finding solidarity in each other in the fight against a tyrant no matter
how fleeting or illusory these may have been. Cory in her yellow dress,
that man in tears braving the tanks, the nun offering flowers to
armed soldiers, and the common folk finding political release in Malacañan
after decades - powerful images of men and women who fought for the same
nation we continue to fight for till now. Cory remained consistent and
uncompromising, even standing up against the present-day tyrant in our
midst and she continues to inspire generations both
old and new to challenge power with truth.
The lessons of Cory's patriotism and peaceful revolution must continue to
be debated upon and our collective gains from these must be
defended. But there is reason to pause and mourn her passing. Though she
was greatly impaired by her milieu and ideological horizon, Cory Aquino
rose to the demands of history as a patriot. The nation, including me,
should be deeply grateful.
* Arnold Alamon taught at
UP Manila, now a free lance writer and researcher
August 3, 2009
Reference: Peter Arvin Jabido, NY Committee for Human Rights in the
Philippines, email: email@example.com
To Those Who Mourn for Tita Cory....
A Letter from the NY Committee from Human Rights in the Philippines
The NY Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines sends its condolences
to the Cojuanco-Aquino family and joins the Filipino people in mourning
the death of former Philippine President Corazon "Cory" Aquino last
weekend after a long and brave battle against cancer.
During the three-year exile of the late Senator Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino in
the United States to seek medical treatment, the Aquino family settled in
Boston and traveled frequently to New York City, where there still remains
the legacy of an anti-fascist, anti-dictatorship, pro-democracy movement
of overseas Filipino professionals. Many from New York City supported the
Aquino family as the movement to oppose the Martial Law under Ferdinand
Marcos can also be attributed to uniting broad ranks of Filipinos overseas
as well as in Manila and throughout the Philippines.
By now, Cory Aquino's story is well-known. From the shadow of her murdered
husband, this "mere housewife"-- as described by Marcos-- rose to become
the first woman president of the Philippines and in Asia. The combination
of Ninoy's tragedy and Cory's victory not only fast-tracked the toppling
of a 20-year old dictatorship, it brought various Filipinos from different
social standings together and was a wake-up call to the possibility of
collective action and nationwide unity in order to make it happen. It also
led to the release of hundreds of government critics who had been
imprisoned and tortured by the Marcos government for political beliefs, as
well as the exploration of peace prospects through negotiations between
the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the National
Democratic Front of the Philippines, who have been in engaged in a 40 year
old civil war.
These, perhaps, should be the most-remembered and lasting contributions of
"Tita Cory", as she was fondly known.
Though Tita Cory's presidency had its notable shortcomings-- including a
fraudulent land reform program that led to the shooting of indignant
farmers calling for genuine land reform along Mendiola Bridge in 1987, as
well as human rights violations committed by the same Armed Forces of the
Philippines responsible for Martial Law-- these cannot deny its strong
pursuit of reforms in the name of restoring democracy after Marcos. These
include the formal closing of the former permanent US military bases after
nearly a century of establishment, the restoring of the Philippine
Congress as a pillar of democracy that had been dismantled under Marcos,
and the creation of the 1987 Philippine Constitution to include specific
provisions that limit foreign intervention and promote Philippine
sovereignty as well as safeguard against executive abuse of power in the
form of martial rule.
Though moral conviction against tyranny and corruption made Tita Cory
stand apart from previous Philippine administrations and earned her the
support of the Catholic Church, it also subjected her to the wrath of
destabilizers within her own government and military that sought to bring
her down. In the end, Tita Cory's popularity withstood several attempts at
military coup d'etat to overthrow her.
Even after retiring from the
presidency, Tita Cory publicly stood up against gross government
corruption traced to both the administrations of Joseph Estrada and most
recently with Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Now the pro-sovereignty provisions to the Philippine Constitution that
Cory's administration introduced stand to be erased due to a relentless
campaign for greed and power under Arroyo, as exemplified through Arroyo's
Charter Change. Though many have compared these two women presidents of
the Philippines and pointed out their incidental similarities, let us
focus on what makes them starkly different.
While Cory's administration saw the formal closing of the permanent US
military bases, Gloria's administration seeks to formally restore them.
While Cory publicly opposed corruption, Gloria is guilty of committing and
While Cory framed the 1987 Philippine Constitution seeking restore
democracy, Gloria wants threatens democracy by seeking to change it.
While Cory freed political prisoners who were illegally detained and
tortured, Gloria continues to illegally detain and torture critics of her
While Cory stood up against Marcos, Gloria is emulating Marcos.
While Cory proved her moral credibility with the people, the church and
international community, Gloria has lost all moral credibility with the
people, the church and the international community.
In her final years, Tita Cory was one of the few from the Philippine
political elite who asked Arroyo to step down from the presidency. She
remained firm to this position to her deathbed.
The fight inspired by Tita Cory in 1986 is far from over. Genuine
democracy in the Philippines has yet to be restored and realized.
Let the movement that Tita Cory inspired not be in vain. In the midst of
another tyrannical government, let us again unite from Manila, to New York
City, to the far-flung provinces of the Philippines against corruption,
rising fascism, and dictatorship.
As millions now gather to mourn, let us mourn as Tita Cory would want us
to-- not just by tying yellow ribbons or flashing the "L" hand signs, but
by continuing the people's movement in aspiration for genuine sovereignty,
democracy, and peace.
Towards Unity & Nationhood,
The NY Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines
New York Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines
Statement of Kilusang Mayo
Uno on Corazon Aquino's Death
Date: 1 Aug 2009
Reference Person: Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU Chaiperson
Contact information: 0929-629-3234
Kilusang Mayo Uno joins the Filipino people in mourning the passing of
former President Corazon Aquino.
Mrs. Aquino became the leading figure in the people’s uprising against the
fascist US-Marcos regime. In her last years, she joined mass
demonstrations against the US-Arroyo regime, which seeks to outdo Marcos’.
She spoke against moral bankruptcy in government, state terrorism and
We value her commitment to stand up against any measure that seeks to
restore the outright fascist dictatorship that the people overthrew in
1986. She died as an ally of the Filipino people against Arroyo’s
curtailment of civil liberties and the regime’s Charter change agenda.
Mrs. Aquino was part of the historical display of the power of the
Filipino people’s unity that was EDSA 1. Today, we are called upon by
history to create the broadest unity to continue the unfinished task of
fighting for genuine democracy and social change. ###
League of Filipino Students
Vinzons Hall, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City
August 3, 2009
EDSA Babies Vow to Continue the Struggle for Democracy
League of Filipino Students Secretary-General Terry Ridon and Anakbayan
Chairperson Ken Leonard Ramos were born a few months before the EDSA
Revolution of 1986 which installed President Corazon Aquino in power.
More than two decades after, the two former UP Student Regents are
presently involving themselves in the painstaking struggle for genuine
freedom and democracy in the country – first through the ouster of
President Joseph Estrada in 2001, as high school students in Ateneo de
Manila High School and UP Integrated School, respectively, and now as
national student leaders fighting for truth, accountability and genuine
Since 2005 until President Aquino fell ill last year, they had been
meeting, marching and protesting with the former President and other
political groups for truth and accountability.
“With the death of a much respected President, we vow to carry on the
challenge of building a better country through genuine and systemic
reforms,” Ridon said.
“From EDSA I until today, there is still so much to be done. The farmers
have yet to own their lands through genuine agrarian reform, and political
activists remain under attack by state security forces, similar still to
those experienced under martial law,” Ramos said.
The two national student leaders reaffirmed the youth’s commitment to
never forget the lessons of EDSA I and the Marcos dictatorship, and vowed
to continue the fight to protect the country’s democracy from attempts to
reestablish a dictatorship of a ‘new type’, alluding to the equivocal
pronouncements of Malacanang on Charter Change and term extension.
“We may have been too young to remember the courage of the Filipino people
in standing up to the old dictatorship, but we are prepared to stand tall
today in defense of our democratic rights and ideals,” Ramos said.
“If we need to sacrifice our lives as the heroes and the martyrs of the
old dictatorship had in defense of our hard-won rights, in the line of
fire shall the youth of our country be.” Ridon finally says.
Terry Ridon, Secretary-General, League of Filipino Students, 09158513904,
At La Salle Greenhills and
Feb. 17, 2008 - Greenhills re
June 10, 2009 - Ayala: Aquino's grandson reads her critique of the Arroyo regime
Cory Aquino’s Place in History
PUBLISHED ON August 1, 2009 AT 10:28 AM
The failures of her presidency notwithstanding, Cory Aquino will be
remembered for helping restore democracy in the Philippines and dismantle
the vestiges of the Marcos dictatorship. When the Arroyo regime
increasingly became corrupt and autocratic, she again rose to the
challenge. Cory fought tyranny to the very end.
By BENJIE OLIVEROS
MANILA – Corazon Aquino could have just went through the normal grieving
process with her family after losing her husband Ninoy to the dark forces
of the Marcos dictatorship. But she did not. Cory rose to the occasion to
challenge the dictator for the presidency during the snap elections. In
the process, she represented the anger of the Filipino people who were fed
up with Marcos and his martial-law regime. And Cory, who was belittled by
Marcos for being a “mere housewife,” defeated the dictator who was in
power for 20 years and was known to be a brilliant lawyer before running
for politics. When Marcos committed massive electoral fraud and refused to
yield, Cory became the symbol of the “people power” uprising that ensued.
When Ferdinand Marcos was ousted from Malacañang and Cory Aquino assumed
the presidency, she immediately went about dismantling the vestiges of
martial law. She restored the Filipino people’s formal democratic rights,
reopened the institutions of governance, released political prisoners,
created the Presidential Committee on Human Rights, and appointed some
human-rights lawyers to positions in government.
Cory Aquino, during an anti-terrorism rally in Davao City in 2003. (Photo
by Carlos H. Conde / bulatlat.com)
However, owing to her background, she fell short of implementing
substantial reforms. She signed the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law, but
the law had to be extended for more than two decades without being
completed. The mill and farm workers of the Cojuangco-owned Hacienda
Luisita had to fight for the land they have tilled for generations for two
decades, paying for it with their blood before being able to gain it. She
refused to renegotiate even the onerous foreign debts of the Marcos
dictatorship, passing the Automatic Appropriation Law instead. And the
Aquino government pursued the same economic policies that have wreaked
havoc on the lives of the Filipino masses.
Aquino also implemented the same militarist solution to the armed conflict
by “unsheathing the sword of war,” displacing more than a million people
in rural areas. The “low intensity conflict” strategy that the Armed
Forces of the Philippines (AFP) learned from the US Armed Forces and was
implemented by the Aquino government included arming anti-communist
vigilante groups, which was responsible for brutal attacks against the
people in rural areas. Enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings
were also committed although the number of victims pales in comparison to
that of the present Arroyo government.
Nevertheless, Cory Aquino, who died today, Aug. 1, has secured her place
in history for daring to challenge the hated Marcos dictatorship and
becoming the first woman president of the Philippines. More importantly,
she presided over the dismantling of martial law and the restoration of
the Filipino people’s formal democratic rights and processes.
Cory is much unlike the second woman to become president, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo,
who is attempting to emulate Marcos by attempting to become a dictator and
trying to outdo Marcos in corruption and human-rights violations. Seeing
this, Cory Aquino had to rise again to the occasion and ask Arroyo to
resign. She became one of the guiding forces of the movement to oust
Arroyo. Cory fought tyranny to the very end. (Bulatlat.com)
Progressive Groups, Leaders Recognize Cory’s Role in Fight Vs Tyranny
PUBLISHED ON August 2, 2009 AT 1:55 PM
By ALEXANDER MARTIN REMOLLINO
MANILA — Even as they did not always see eye to eye with her politically,
several progressive groups and party-list representatives have paid
tribute to former President Corazon Aquino, who succumbed to cancer early
yesterday at 76. They recognized her role in the people’s struggles
against tyranny, corruption, and greed for power.
Aquino was thrust into the limelight after the assassination of her
husband Benigno Aquino Jr., a leader of the anti-dictatorship opposition,
in 1983. In the 1986 snap presidential elections, she was chosen by
various opposition forces as their common standard-bearer against then
President Ferdinand Marcos. The elections were marred by massive fraud and
violence and Aquino was catapulted to power on the heels of what is now
known as the Edsa 1 uprising.
As president, Aquino presided over the restoration of the democratic space
that was in place before the declaration of martial law. Her regime,
however, was tarnished by, among other things, the lack of genuine
agrarian reform, a long-standing demand of the peasantry; as well as the
imposition of US-sponsored low-intensity conflict in the countryside,
leading to numerous human-rights violations.
After her presidency, she figured prominently in the largely
anti-corruption Edsa 2 uprising that toppled Joseph Estrada, as well as in
the campaigns for truth and accountability under the Arroyo
administration, even as, at some point, she and her family found
themselves having to confront issues springing from what is now known as
the Hacienda Luisita massacre.
Both Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan or New Patriotic Alliance) and the
Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU or May 1st Movement) acknowledged Aquino’s role in
the struggles against tyranny.
“To the end, Mrs. Aquino was in solidarity with the people in the fight
against tyranny,” read a statement by Bayan. “While unable to join protest
actions because of her frail health, she sent a message that was read at
the June 10, 2009, rally in Ayala against Charter change. The message was
her last and strongest against moves to change the Constitution.
“Mrs. Aquino was a leading figure in Edsa 1 and Edsa 2. In the past four
years, she joined mass actions against electoral fraud, corruption and
charter change. She marched to support the impeachment complaint in 2005
and supported the communal actions at the height of the NBN-ZTE scandal in
“Mrs. Aquino became the leading figure in the people’s uprising against
the fascist US-Marcos regime,” the KMU meanwhile said. “In her last years,
she joined mass demonstrations against the US-Arroyo regime. She spoke
against moral bankruptcy in the government, state terrorism and charter
“We value her commitment to stand up against any measure to restore the
tyranny that the people overthrew in the 1980s.”
Terry Ridon, secretary-general of the League of Filipino Students (LFS),
described Aquino as “an insurmountable ally” in some of the Filipino
people’s major struggles in recent history. “While the LFS have had
principled disagreements with President Aquino on agrarian reform and her
anti-insurgency campaign during her term, we shall not forget the periodic
unities for good governance and reform shared with the students through
the decades, from the people power uprisings against Presidents Marcos and
Estrada, and the continuing campaign for truth and accountability today,”
Danilo Ramos, secretary-general of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP
or Peasant Movement of the Philippines), paid tribute to Aquino “for
joining the people’s clamor for Arroyo’s resignation,” and for her efforts
in the two Edsa uprisings and the campaigns against charter change and
Gabriela Women’s Party (GWP) Rep. Liza Maza described Aquino as “a
formidable voice” in the campaigns against the Arroyo administration, and
said she was “instrumental in the cause against corruption and greed for
Bayan Muna (People First) Rep. Satur Ocampo, in a text message sent by his
staff to media, lamented Aquino’s passing “at this critical point of our
nation’s history.” (Bulatlat.com)
Joma, Cory had 'exceptional' relationship
By Loui Galicia, ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau | 08/03/2009 10:03 AM
Jose Maria “Joma” Sison, founder of the Communist Party of the
Philippines, and his wife Juliet joined the rest of the world in mourning
the death of former President Corazon “Cory” Aquino on Saturday.
Sison said he and Cory maintained a special relationship that dates way
before her presidency. He said he and Cory's husband, Beningno “Ninoy”
Aquino, Jr., worked together for a common goal to fight the dictatorship
of Ferdinand Marcos.
And in the political struggles of Joma and Ninoy, their wives Juliet and
Cory became tightly knitted by their love for their husbands, joining and
working vigorously in the campaign against Marcos.
“First time nung makilala ko si Cory nung 1967. Dumalaw ako kay Ninoy
Aquino. Siya [Cory] ang nagsilbi nung kape kaya natatawa ako noong
sinasabi na siya ang nagsisilbi dun sa ibang bisita,” Sison in an
interview with Balitang Europe.
“Yan ang pang-charming ni Ninoy eh. Talagang very friendly si Cory, yung
kanyang ugali,” he added.
Sison has Cory to thank for his release from almost nine years of
imprisonment under Marcos.
“Nung ma-release ako, dun sa penthouse ng Cojuangco building ako na-release
at dun kami nagtagpo sa presidente, kay Cory. Kung maalala ko, released
ako on recognizance to Doña Aurora Aquino,” noted Sison.
He said that his relationship with Cory was exceptional that it did not
end even after an official act to cancel his passport.
“Pati na dun sa cancellation ng passport ko siyempre in public pupunahin
ko ‘yon na ginawa ni Cory. Pero di nawawala yung pagkakaibigan namin kasi
nagpaabot eh,” related Sison.
According to Sison, it was Cory who fought for almost two years the
urgings of the military to cancel his passport.
It was also Cory, according to him, who warned him that it was safer for
him to remain outside the Philippines.
“Mabuti daw na nandito ako dahil ang mga militar ang nagtutulak na
kanselahin ang passport ko so ganun, hindi nawawala yung aming mabuting
relasyon kahit na gumawa siya ng official act na kanselahin ang aking
passport,” he said.
Sison said that for his part, the revolutionary movement helped in putting
Cory in power and getting rid of Marcos.
A witty and gracious Cory
Juliet has nothing but good memories of Cory. She explained that as wives
of husbands driven by a common goal, she and Cory were always together in
“Maraming pag-oorganiza na ginawa namin nun upang kalabanin si Marcos so
andun siya sa mga organisasyon na binubuo para labanan si Marcos. Yung
Aquino Justice For All, yun namang kilusan na ‘yon di naman para lang kay
Aquino kundi para sa lahat ng nabiktima o nabibiktima ng martial law,” she
“Kaya nagkakasama kami nun sa mga pagsisikap na ‘yon. Ang mga meeting na
‘yon kasama namin sila Guingona, yang si Cory, si Doña Aurora, sila
Salonga at yung mga personalidad na lumalaban kay Marcos na padami nang
padami,” she noted.
Juliet said her first impression of Cory was that she was a woman of very
few words. But when Aquino became president, Juliet was surprised to see a
very witty Cory.
“Si Cory masigasig yan dun sa paglaban kay Marcos. Pumupunta siya sa
meetings at demonstrations pero hindi siya masalita,” she continued.
“Medyo tahimik siya at medyo reserved kaya nagulat ako na nung presidente
na siya, aba biba din pala siya at natutong mas maging ano yan, relaxed sa
public although graciosa siya na tao.”
Communication lines open
Meanwhile, the National Democratic Front Negotiating Panel (NDFP) in
Utrecht also expressed its solidarity with the family, relatives and
friends of Cory in their time of mourning and grief.
NDFP Chair Luis Jalandoni said that Cory's greatest contribution was her
ratifying the Protocol II of the Geneva Conventions which is very
significant for the human rights standards and policies. ►
Joma Sison and President
Aquino, May 31, 1986 (photo provided by Joma Sison)
Jose Maria Sison and wife
Juliet recall relationship with former president Corazon Aquino (Loui
Galicia, ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau)
“Napakalahaga dahil ito ay respected throughout the world as (an)
important document and convention regarding the upholding of human rights
at nandyan din sa constitution ng 1987 for which Cory Aquino to a great
extent yung pag-uphold ng human rights pati na yung mahalagang bagay… yung
pagrestrict ng martial law," Jalandoni told Balitang Europe.
He also said that Cory as president was very different from others in that
she kept all communication lines open.
“Cory would make use of
different means kahit personal na pagpaabot kay Joma na ‘wag ka munang
bumalik dito. Meaning she was concerned for his safety or she would use
other channels and say she would like to have peace talks,” said Jalandoni.
“She was creative in a very personal way also to maintain communication.”
For NDFP Consultant Fidel Agcaoili, Cory was responsible for initiating
the peace talks between the Philippine government and the NDFP in 1986.
“Siya ang nag-facilitate. Of course nagkaron ng ceasefire agreement. It
led to a ceasefire agreement and then it led to maraming NDF na lumitaw at
lumabas,” said Agcaoili.
Jalandoni added that Cory's outstanding feat was the release of hundreds
of political prisoners, which included Sison.
“All those hundreds of political prisoners is a good example of fulfilling
her commitment and her magnanimity with regards to political prisoners and
those in need and for the families of these political prisoners,” he said.
CPP founder: Aquino was
true to her word
By Delfin Mallari Jr.
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 20:09:00 08/03/2009
LUCENA CITY, Philippines -- Self-exiled Communist Party of the Philippines
(CPP) founder Jose Maria Sison said he remembered the “mutual sense of
gratitude” between him and former President Corazon Aquino.
“Cory and I cooperated with each other against the Marcos dictatorship and
we had a mutual sense of gratitude to each other,” Sison told the
Philippine Daily Inquirer (parent company of INQUIRER.net) in an email
interview Monday morning.
He recalled the day he met Aquino in her office at the penthouse of the
Cojuangco building in Makati City. He thanked her for signing the release
order for political prisoners and she also thanked Sison for supporting
“Let us not one-sidedly think that only the powerful and wealthy are
always the source of benefits,” Sison added.
Sison posted a photo of him and the late President on the social
networking site Facebook showing the them in animated conversation at the
penthouse of the Cojuangco building after his release from prison on March
After Aquino assumed office as head of the revolutionary government after
the fall of President Ferdinand Marcos in February 1986, she freed Sison
and several of his comrades from several years of imprisonment in
fulfillment of her promise to release all political prisoners.
The CPP founder, now based in Utrecht, The Netherlands, said the
“patriotic and progressive forces of the Filipino people, including me,
supported her (Aquino) against Marcos and she fulfilled her promise to
release all political prisoners.”
Sison claimed then defense minister Juan Ponce Enrile and military vice
chief Fidel Ramos tried, but failed to block his release.
Meanwhile, the National
Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), the political arm of the CPP,
conveyed its condolences to the Aquino family.
In a statement, the NDFP said that despite being unable to reach a final
peace agreement with the government and the failure of the land reform
program, the Aquino term was laudable for the release of all political
prisoners and the improvement of the human rights situation in the
“Ms Aquino was an outstanding and inspiring figure in the anti-fascist
alliance against the Marcos dictatorship, especially after the
assassination of her husband, Benigno Aquino Jr. She was openly critical
of the long-running support of the United States for the Marcos
dictatorship in exchange for the aggrandizement of US economic interests
and the continuance of the US military bases,” the statement read.
The NDFP also recognized the 1987 Constitution as one of the legacies of
“The 1987 Constitution... carries provisions which uphold human rights and
restrain the proclamation of martial law, retain national restrictions on
foreign investments and prohibit foreign military bases, foreign troops
and nuclear weapons on Philippine soil,” the NDFP said.
The NDFP also recalled how, after finishing her term, Aquino strongly
opposed the “grossly anti-democratic policies and actions” of her
successors, Fidel Ramos, Joseph Estrada, and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo,
adding, “In this regard, she was willing to join up with the patriotic and
progressive forces of the people in mass protest actions.”
The signatories of the statement were NDFP negotiating panel chairman Luis
Jalandoni; vice chairman Fidel Agcaoili; members Julieta de Lima-Sison,
Coni Ledesma and Asterio Palima; Sison; consultants Vicente Ladlad, Dan
Borjal, Randall Echanis, Rafael Baylosis and Elizabeth Principe, and
senior legal adviser Romeo Capulong.
With a report from Jerome Aning
Mass for Pres. Corazon Aquino at the House of Representatives
Satur Ocampo gives 1st reading
during Cory Mass
PHotos courtesy of Tine Sabillo
At the regular minority press
conference today, August 3, 2009, Deputy Minority Leader Satur Ocampo
shared some insights on his engagements and friendship with the late
President Corazon Aquino.
He presented two photographs of Pres. Aquino circa December 1983. Then,
Mrs. Aquino visited political detainees of the Marcos dictatorship in
Bicutan Rehabilitation Center that included Ocampo.
The political detainees serenaded Aquino and then had a dialogue on
various issues of the time.
Pic 1: cory-satur: Cory listens to political detainees in a dialogue when
she visited the Bicutan Rehabilitation Center in December 1983. Cory is
seated beside Satur.
Pic 2: Cory with Satur and other political prisoners in Bicutan. Among
them were Noel Etabag, Fidel Agcaoili, Alan Jazmines, and Bal
Pinguel, in 1983.
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